Winning in the BTCC was hard enough during the 1990s even if you had manufacturer machinery, so imagine what it was like if you were a privateer. Matt Neal doesn't have to, he was there. And he became comfortably the era's leading independent.
"The first few years I had in the BTCC, I'd have done double backflips just to get into the top 10," says the now three-time champion and mainstay of the factory Honda squad.
"That's how difficult it was for a privateer team against the works boys. These guys who win a race nowadays from a reversed-grid pole and with minimum weight - they haven't got a clue about just how hard it was for us to do what we did."
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.